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Royals Rumblings - News for October 20, 2021

It sure is Wednesday!

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Closeup of a black dog with some white fur on its snout, with one amber-colored eye in sharp focus. The other eye is in shadow.
Those EYES!
Minda Haas Kuhlmann

From the backfields in Arizona, Alec Lewis talked to some scouts about a few prospects, and offered these updates:

Ben Hernandez, a 20-year-old right-hander whom the Royals selected in the second round of the 2020 draft, is back pitching. He made nine starts this season at Low-A Columbia before the Royals sidelined him with arm fatigue. He returned to play at the Arizona Complex League and pitched last week with his velocity up to 95 mph. His changeup is his bread and butter, and one scout, seeing a White Sox hitter swing through the pitch, nodded and jotted down the plus pitch in his notes. Another scout talked positively about Hernandez’s breaking ball, which has been the pitch the Royals have identified as the one that has needed the most development.

Alec Marsh, a 23-year-old right-hander whom the Royals selected in the competitive balance round of the 2019 draft, made six starts this year and posted a 4.97 ERA in 25 1/3 innings with 42 strikeouts and 13 walks. One scout said they believed Marsh would have found himself on top-100 prospect lists had it not been for some arm fatigue that shut him down in June. Marsh is currently building back up, and the plan is for him to pitch in the second half of the Arizona Fall League.

David Lesky at Inside the Crown gives his top 15 Royals prospects:

MJ Melendez - Melendez is the biggest beneficiary of the development overhaul as he went from the type of season that was going to turn him into a backup catcher prospect to being one of the most feared hitters in all of the minors. His 41 home runs led all of minor league baseball this season and he actually seemed to get better when he was promoted to AAA. Given Perez’s spot in the big leagues, I was thinking Melendez would be the guy to get traded to bring in talent to supplement the roster, but you can’t trade a guy who had a 17.2 percent walk rate in AAA with a 21.2 percent strikeout rate. The swing is a bit unorthodox, but it works. And he’s also a very good defensive catcher. This is the type of player you figure out how to get in your lineup.

ETA: Early 2022, maybe Opening Day

I chose to highlight the commentary on Melendez because his “unorthodox” swing was one of my favorite things to watch this year. A swing that looks like this doesn’t seem like it should produce that kind of power, but Melendez has clearly found something for himself.

At Kings of Kauffman, Mike Gillespie explores 3 early reasons to be excited for the Royals in 2022.

The Dodgers mounted a dramatic 8th-inning comeback to bring the NLCS to a 2-1 Braves lead, and then the Astros exploded in the 9th inning for a blowout win at Boston to even the ALCS at 2-2.

Kevin Goldstein at FanGraphs finds more questions than answers with the Cardinals’ recent firing of manager Mike Shildt.

Speaking of the Cardinals, their outfield prospect Lars Nootbaar evidently trademarked his name and has plans to use it for a candy bar.

Daisuke Matsuzaka has ended his 23-year baseball career. Remember all the buzz when the Red Sox signed him?

The Chicago Sky had a parade to celebrate their WNBA title, and one featured guest was the door that Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi (allegedly) busted in her Game 4 postgame frustration.

The men’s NBA is releasing a list of 75 greatest players in its 75-year history.

A Netflix docuseries about Glenn Burke, the first out gay MLB player and inventor of the high five, is reportedly in the works.

The relationship between the 76ers and Ben Simmons remains a hot mess, with Simmons refusing to do some drills in practice and thus getting suspended for the season opener.

Imagine a world where TV broadcasters quit reading tweets on the air.

I am choosing to put this in the sports section:

Some CDC guidance for safer holiday gatherings.

Self-driving Waymo cars keep clogging up one particular dead-end road in San Francisco. Technology!

This awful boss wrote a letter in to Ask a Manager, upset that her employee...corrected a payroll error that caused the company to miss two of her paychecks??? The NERVE of these whippersnappers!


Avoid repeating yourself with this list of (sorry) repetitive tautologies.

I resent the framing as “the next Game of Thrones” (NOT ALL FANTASY IS GAME OF THRONES YOU SILLYFACES) but here’s a look into the forthcoming Wheel of Time adaptation on Amazon Prime.

You don’t need to play Mass Effect to get some giggles out of this Austin Powers/Mass Effect mashup video.

SOTD: Adele’s latest, Easy on Me. In case anyone forgot what an incredible singer she is.